Tech Tip: Engagers - how to remove

The engager  is made up of dental composite material, so a good general guideline for EngagerIMG14.pngremoving engagers, would be to use the same methods that you would use to remove composite from the tooth.

Parts needed

  • Highspeed handpiece with water irrigation
  • White stone or multi-fluted composite finishing burs
  • Fine diamond burs
  • Ceramic bracket remover pliers (optional)


Here are five different methods for removing engagers:

  • Use a high speed handpiece with water irrigation and a multi-fluted composite finishing burr to grind off the composite. Most efficient method
  • Start with a diamond or a more aggressive burr to remove the bulk of the composite (be careful to not damage the enamel) and then finish off with a multi-fluted finishing burr or a stone.
  • Use your customary technique for polishing the enamel surface of the tooth.
  • Use a series of diamond burs ranging from coarse to fine. Most expensive method
  • Use "ceramic bracket remover pliers" and white stone polishing burs, both found in almost all orthodontic supply catalogs. Least effective method

Checking if all the composite has been removed

A common technique is to drag a metal tipped instrument such as a scaler or an explorer over the tooth. Composite resin will be revealed as the material picks up marks from the metal instrument. This is a good practice not only for ensuring all the composite material is removed but also to prevent enamel damage, particularly when using diamond burs.

Alternatively, a lead pencil may be used to mark the composite. This technique works beautifully to better visualize small composite fragments left on the tooth. 

Check out our Help Center which is filled with useful information on the topic of clear aligner treatment.

If you missed any of our previous tech tips, we keep them regularly posted to our blog, which you can find here.

Until next time…

Tech Tip: Best practices for engagers

Engagers (a.k.a. "attachments" or "buttons") are composite shapes added to the teeth to 
engage the aligner and assist with movements. They act like small handles for moving teeth. Engagers are often recommended when treating patients with clear aligners.

There are a number of important things to keep in mind when you need to place engagers.

Know before you go

  • ClearCorrect's technicians will recommend a number and location of engagers, but you can always override those recommendations.
  • Engager preferences are always at the discretion of the clinician and it’s up to you to make any necessary changes.
  • Let us know your preferences in the Engagers, Avoid engagers on these teeth, and Additional instructions sections of the case submission form, when you submit your case.

Staff preparation 

  • engager best practices-2.pngReview the treatment plan sent with the case or the treamtnet setup to see if engager placement is recommended at this appointment.
  • If yes, confirm that the patient or parent has signed an informed consent form.
  • Prepare instrumentation as required by doctor. 
  • Identify locations for engagers on treatment plan.

Placing engagers

Fully describe engagers to the patient (and the parent if patient is a minor) before placing them.

Discuss possible negative side effects, including:

  • Tissue awareness
  • Diminished esthetics
  • Possible debonding – not an emergency
  • Always get signed consent before placement.

Prepare the teeth 

  • Use lip retractors.
  • Consider using air abrasion with 50 micron aluminum oxide.
  • Acid etch only the area beneath the engager.
  • Thoroughly rinse off the acid etch.
  • Use warm air to dry the teeth.

engager best practices 2.pngPrepare the templates & place engagers

  • Trim the template(s) if desired.
  • Put a light, thin coat of petroleum jelly, Pam, or mineral oil inside the engager bubble or void .
  • Use an explorer to put a hole in the engager bubble for composite extrusion.
  • Fill the engager bubble about 2/3 full with paste composite.
  • Fill last 1/3 with flowable composite.

engager best practices 3.pngFinish engagers

  • Apply bonding agent to the etched & dry tooth.
  • Place the template on the teeth and light cure.
  • Remove the template and any composite flash.
  • Check the fit of the new aligner.

Document placement of all engagers

  • You can use the treatment plan enclosed with every case.
  • Note the date of placement next to the engager graphic on the treatment plan.
  • Alternatively, note step, date and location in the patient’s chart.

Removing engagers

Engagers can be removed at the patient’s demand, but be sure to inform them that the aligners may not move the teeth as well as expected without them.

Use the same methodology as one would for removing composite restorations or orthodontic bracket adhesive:

  • White stone finishing burs (will not cut enamel)
  • Multi-fluted composite finishing burs (will cut enamel)

Following these best practices can help make the task of placing engagers quick and easy. We hope this information helps you place engagers more effectively. Check out our Help Center which is filled with useful information on the topic of clear aligner treatment.

If you missed any of our previous tech tips, we keep them regularly posted to our blog, which you can find here.

Until next time…

Tech Tip: IPR - Contouring

When you perform IPR with a diamond disc, you may end up with flat surfaces between the teeth and sharp corners at the edges. This isn't necessarily a functional problem, but some doctors and patients find it aesthetically displeasing. If the square corners are touching on the lingual, sometimes the buccal contact looks open. Proper contouring can conceal the evidence of IPR and restore teeth to their natural contours.

Contouring after IPR 1.png

Aligning teeth with rounded contacts can also reduce the arch length and reduce the appearance of open space between teeth. A rounded surface allows for the tooth to rotate without having the corners coming into contact.

Hygiene can also be an issue, because natural rounded contacts have a spot surface contact and a flat IPR surface has a broad larger contact. This means cavities will be larger on the broad contact when compared to the spot contact.

How to contour teeth


After you finish performing IPR with a diamond disc, file the corners with a diamond strip by bending the strip into a "U" shape and holding it that way as you move it back and forth around the corners of the newly created space. You don't want to reduce the main contact area more than neccessary, so make sure the strip is only touching the corners that you want to round off—not the middle of the contact surface.

We offer a complete IPR kit with discs, strips, burs, and gauges. You can purchase the full IPR kit on our online store.

We hope you found this information helpful. Check out our Help Center which is filled with useful information on the topic of IPR and clear aligner treatment.

If you missed any of our previous tech tips, we keep them regularly posted to our blog, which you can find here.

Until next time…

Tech Tip: Variables in clear aligner treatment

When it comes to clear aligners, keeping treatment on track can be a challenge.

There are a number of variables that can affect clear aligner treatment and prevent aligners from tracking the way you intended.

These variables include:

A 2013 study conducted by Chisari et al. and published in the AJODO followed orthodontic tooth movement over time and documented factors affecting tooth movement including age, sex, root length, bone levels, and bone density. Difficult movements such as rotations, intrusions and extrusions were particularly unpredictable.

In the study, clear aligners were programmed to move 1 central incisor 1 mm over the course of 8 weeks. At the end of the study, the mean tooth movement was only 57% of the planned goal. 

Variables image.png

Figure derived from "Variables affecting orthodontic tooth movement with clear aligners; Chisari et al, 2014". The plotted tooth movement is an average of 3 study groups.

Because of these variables (and others), clear aligner therapy can be somewhat unpredictable. Some clinicians will notice discrepancies right away, but a lack of tracking can also accumulate over time.

So, what's the solution?

If you can anticipate potential tracking issues and adjust your treatment goals and techniques accordingly when submitting the case, you can help the required tooth movements track better throughout treatment.

The next logical question then is; "How do I anticipate and manage potential tracking issues?"

1. Monitor:

Check for tight contacts during checkup appointments.

Another thing to look for is the discrepancy between the tooth size (mesial incisal edge to distal incisal edge) and the size of the space that the tooth is attempting to move into. If the space is not big enough, then the tooth will not move adequately into this space and could cause additional tight contacts.

variables 2.png

A solution to this is to prescribe additional IPR or expansion to create adequate space for the tooth to move into, either when you submit the case or in a case revision

2. Revise:

While you and your patient prefer to avoid revisions they are sometimes necessary in order to achieve desired treatment outcomes—especially to acheive difficult movements.

When you request a revision, you can request additional IPR (as was necessary in the example above), engagers, or overcorrection in order to get treatment back on track towards the original treatment goal. 

Depending on the variables affecting your treatment, you may be able to get the teeth back on track without a revision. Here are some articles covering possible solutions:

3. Overcorrect:

Overcorrection is especially likely to be needed for these types of movement:

  • Rotations (particularly single-rooted teeth with roots that have a circular cross-section)
  • Labial-lingual alignment (particularly of incisors)
  • Expansion
  • Extrusion (because the PDL tends to pull the tooth back into the socket)

If your case involves any of these movements, requesting overcorrection when you submit the case can help you acheive your desired treatment goals.

For example, on a case requiring rotations, the doctor could add a note to the case submission form asking for the rotations to be corrected towards the beginning of treatment, and requesting overcorrection to further assist with the rotations.

We hope this information helps you to account for the inevitable variables that can affect clear aligner treatment to achieve the treatment outcomes you and your patients desire. You can find more information on the topic of clear aligner treatment in our Help Center

If you missed any of our previous tech tips, we post them regularly to our blog, which you can find here.

Until next time…

Tech Tip: Impression problems

We recently sent out a tech tip on Impressions - Best Practices, providing tips and instructions on how to take clear impressions.

This tip expands on the subject by providing a comprehensive list of the specific impression problems and procedural errors, their causes and how to avoid them. We will also show you the image of the impression itself compared to its digital model, for increased clarity of each issue. 

Impression problems



  • Description: The complete tooth anatomy and/or gumline was not fully captured by the impression material around it. 
  • Causes: This occurs due to insufficient material in the impression tray. 
  • How to avoid: Make sure you’re using enough material when taking impressions. Too much is better than too little.


Bubbles 2-1.png

  • Description: This is just what it sounds like, it’s an air bubble in the impression
  • Causes: 1. Bubbles occur while the impression material is being distributed, due to the mixing tip being lifted out of the material mid process, creating a hollow void under the material now placed on top. 2. Excessive saliva in the patient's mouth.
  • How to avoid: 1. Keep the mixing tip inserted in the material while dispensing it. 2. Remove any excess saliva before taking impressions. 

Thin walls

Thin walls imp 1.png

Thin walls scan 5.png

  • Description: This is when the material itself captures the majority of the tooth anatomy, however the scanning process does not pick up the tray well, leaving that much of the tooth anatomy incomplete or distorted.
  • Causes: Thin walls are created a number of ways: insufficient material, too small trays or the tray was pushed in too deep. 
  • How to avoid: 1. Make sure you’re using enough material – too much is better than too little. 2. Test the tray in the patient’s mouth. It should extend beyond the most distal tooth. 3. Don’t push the tray into the teeth too hard – you don’t want the teeth to push all the way through the impression material.

Double imprints (aka Shifts)

double imprint 2.png

double imprint scan.png

  • Description: This is when you see two gumlines and/or what looks like two teeth imprints one right next to or on top of the other. 
  • Causes: 1. When the tray, full arch or quadrant is moved during the setting process. 2. If the first-step is not done correctly, for example, when taking the medium/heavy PVS impression and no plastic sheet is used over the first-step impression.
  • How to avoid: 1. Make sure your patient is educated on the importance of not moving their teeth during the impression process. 2. Be sure to use a plastic sheet when taking medium/heavy body impressions on a two-step impression. The plastic sheet will create an impression of the large/rough shape of the teeth (like a custom impression tray).


pulls 3-1.png

Pulls scan.png

  • Description: A “pulled” effect around the gingival margin of the impression.
  • Causes: 1. When the impression material prematurely sets before insertion and results in a “pulled” effect around the gingival margin. 2. When the impression material has not fully set and is removed (pulled) from the mouth too soon.
  • How to avoid: 1. Once you've dispensed the material, put the trays in the patient’s mouth as soon as possible. 2. Leave the tray in the patient's mouth 60-90 seconds longer than the provided instructions.


Tears 2-2.png

  • Description: When the impression material has torn in some way, breaking out of place and undermining the accuracy of the impression. 
  • Causes: 1. Tears occur when the patient has extreme undercuts or black triangles which causes the impression material to lock into the interproximal and tear when removing the impression. 2. Tears can also occur if the material has not fully set before removal.
  • How to avoid: 1. Use wax to block out undercuts before taking the impression. 2. Leave the tray in 60-90 seconds longer than the provided instructions.

Procedural errors

Improper 2-step impressions

Improper 2 step.png

  • Description: When the second step did not bond to first step. In the above image, you can only see the green light-body material on top and you don't see the purple heavy-body mixed. This is how you know that the first and second steps didn't bond.
  • Causes: By using incompatible heavy and light body material.
  • How to avoid: Check heavy body and light body compatibility prior to purchasing.

Insufficient material

insufficient material.jpg

insufficient material scan.png

  • Description: Not enough material was used.
  • Causes: Inadequate measurements of material for the size impression tray used.
  • How to avoid: Too much material is better than too little material.

No light body

no light body.jpg

no light body scan.png

  • Description: No light body was used. The light body and heavy body are usually two different colors, so that they can be identified easily. When the gumlines and occlusal anatomy is not well defined, there will be no sharp details and it will look rounded off.
  • Causes: No light body was used.
  • How to avoid: Be sure to use light body. See our videos on one-step and two-step impression techniques.

We hope this information helps you to take better impressions for the cases you submit to ClearCorrect. Check out our Help Center for more useful information on the topic of clear aligner treatment.

Until next time…

Tech Tip: Best practices for IPR

IPR (interproximal reduction) is a procedure where, by reducing the proximal surfaces of the teeth, a very small amount of space between the teeth is created to allow the teeth to move during treatment. IPR is often reccomended when treating patients with clear aligners.

There are a number of important things to keep in mind when you perform IPR.

Know before you go

  • The amount and location of IPR will be recommended by ClearCorrect, but those recommendations are not absolute.
  • You can let us know how you want to perform IPR (which teeth, when and how, no IPR, expansion, limited IPR, limited expansion, etc.).
  • IPR is always at the discretion of the clinician and it’s up to you to make any necessary changes.
  • Let us know what you want in the IPR and additional instructions sections of the form when you submit your case.

Pre-IPR review by doctor

  • Determine whether to perform the recommended IPR at this appointment. (You may choose to delay some of the IPR until the next appointment.)
  • Determine if pre-IPR separation is needed due to any excessive crowding or rotation. (Pre-IPR separation is when an orthodontic separator, rubber or wire is placed between overlapping teeth to move them apart sufficiently to make room for the IPR disc to fit interproximally. Depending on the amount of crowding, the separator can be left for a few minutes to up to a day or two.)
  • Determine which surfaces of the teeth will be reduced.
  • Determine which intruments and methods you want to use (abrasive strips, single- or double-sided discs, etc.).

Pre-IPR preparation by staffChecking the treatment plan.png

  • When patient is seated for delivery of new aligners, review the treatment setup or the treatment plan sent with the case to see if IPR is recommended at this appointment.
  • If yes, confirm that the patient or parent understands the procedure and has signed an informed consent form.
  • Prepare instrumentation as required by doctor.
  • Identify locations and measurements of the IPR to be performed.

Pre-IPR preparation of the patient

  • Fully explain the IPR procedure to the patient (and the patient's guardian, if appropriate) before beginning.
  • Discuss improbable, but possible, negatives:
    • Sensitivity/discomfort
    • Bleeding gums, lips, or cheeks
    • Feeling of a slight “vibration” on the tooth
    • May feel some pressure on the gums
    • Misshaped anatomy
    • Does not increase possibility of cavities
  • Always get signed consent before performing IPR.
  • Perform any pre-IPR separation of the teeth, if necessary.
  • Apply a small amount of topical anesthetic, if preferred by the patient.

Performing IPR

  • Don’t do IPR where there’s already space.
  • Always check compliance before doing IPR:Checking Compliance.png
    • Check for contact between teeth with dental floss.
    • Contact means patient is compliant (has been wearing their aligners). Continue treatment as planned.
    • No contact means patient is likely not complying. Don't continue with the next step yet. Have the patient wear their current step for another 1-2 weeks and re-check for compliance at the next appointment.
  • Secure safe and adequate access to the IPR site(s):Snap on disc guard tip.png
    • Consider using a disc guard if access is tenuous.
    • Begin with the most posterior sites, working anteriorly.
    • Begin with low RPM until desired angulation is achieved, then increase the RPM to make the reduction.
  • Have your assistant direct an air stream across the IPR site away from your and the patient’s face.
  • Be sure to constantly observe both the labial and lingual aspects to ensure that the teeth are not being cut inappropriately.
  • Use light pressure on the instrument – let the abrasives do the cutting.
  • To perform the amount of IPR indicated on the treatment plan:
    • 1 mm IPR can be achieved with abrasive strips that are 0.08mm (extra fine), 0.10mm (fine) and 0.13mm (medium).
    • 2 mm IPR can be achieved with a one-sided disc that is 0.1 mm thick.
    • 3 mm IPR can be achieved with a two-sided disc that is 0.15 to 0.2mm thick, by gently moving the disc back and forth, mesially and distally in the interproximal space until the desired space is made.
  • To confirm that the contact has been fully brokenstop the instrument and gentlyBreaking Contact.png push it against the gum tissue.
  • When reducing a contact, be sure to break the contact all the way through. The resistance will diminish and the gum tissue will blanch.
  • Confirm interpoximal space created by using an IPR thickness gauge.
  • Idealize the tooth anatomy post-IPR:
    • Angulate the cuts so that they do not disturb the appearance of the tooth.
    • Check the reduced surfaces with an explorer or floss to see if there are any nicks or “ledges” on the tooth.
    • Use diamond burs or abrasive strips to round off any sharp corners.IPR Tracking Chart.png
  • Document IPR performed including the amount and location. You can use the IPR Tracking Chart on our Help Center or place notes directly on the treatment plan or other paperwork.

Following these best practices can help make an otherwise possibly uncomfortable experience for the patient a simple and quick visit before handing out their next set of aligners.

ClearCorrect also offers a number of helpful tools for performing IPR including a full IPR Kit in our online store. Check out all of our IPR tools here.

We hope you found this information helpful. Check out our Help Center which is filled with useful information on the topic of IPR and clear aligner treatment.

If you missed any of our previous tech tips, we keep them regularly posted to our blog, which you can find here.

Until next time…

Tech Tip: Video FAQ about ClearCorrect

ClearCorrect's 2017 Workshops

We're happy to announce that ClearCorrect will be hosting a series of two-for-one workshops in 2017!

If you're new to clear aligners, start with Treatment Basics in the morning and continue with Practice Success after lunch. If you're ready for more advanced techniques, start with Practice Success and follow it up with Advanced Treatment.

Either way, you'll get one session with Dr. Ken Fischer, and another with Dr. Duane Grummons, both orthodontic specialists at the top of their fields.


Request more information

Click the hotel link for information about the hotel. You can also contact an account representative at (888) 331-3323 if you have any other questions about registering.

There are two workshop bundles available: Treatment Basics & Practice Success or Advanced Treatment & Practice Success. You can bring up to 2 staff members at no additional cost, or bring 3 or more for a small additional fee.

We're also offering a 20% discount for those who register prior to 30 days of the workshop date. Enter in the promo code EARLYBIRD when checking out to take advantage of this great offer.

Available Dates

Treatment Basics

Dr. Ken Fischer presents a fast-paced and informative workshop. This workshop is ideal for doctors who have had no previous experience with clear aligner treatment or for doctors looking to refresh their knowledge on the subject. It features demonstrations covering a wide variety of scenarios. The workshop is a PACE approved program offering 4 hours of CE credit upon completion.

Workshop Objectives/Syllabus:

  • Clear aligner/Ortho basics
  • How to select cases for treatment
  • Case examples – simple to moderate cases
  • How to submit a case to ClearCorrect
  • Best practices for impressions & scans
  • Approving and disapproving Treatment setups: technician talk
  • What you need to know about IPR
  • Engagers – what are they and best practices
  • Managing treatment – the basics including revisions & retention


7:30 am – 8:00 am Continental Breakfast
8:00 am – 12:00 pm Treatment Basics
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Buffet Lunch

Practice Success

Dr. Duane Grummons presents an informative workshop offering tools with step-by-step actions to increase success in your practice. This workshop is for everyone; orthodontists, general practitioners, dental hygienists, assistants and office staff. The workshop is a PACE approved program offering 2 hours of CE credit upon completion.

Workshop Objectives/Syllabus:

  • ClearCorrect and your practice success
  • Doctor leadership inspires teamwork
  • Patient experiences
  • External and internal branding and marketing
  • Thriving (not surviving) in a successful practice
  • Tips and Insights ("secret sauce") shared by master clinician, Dr. Duane Grummons


12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Buffet Lunch
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Practice Success

Advanced Treatment

Dr. Ken Fischer presents an informative workshop covering advanced techniques and a variety of cases treated with ClearCorrect. This workshop is ideal for doctors who have experience (5 or more cases) with clear aligner treatment or for orthodontists. It features demonstrations covering a wide variety of advanced scenarios. The workshop is a PACE approved program offering 3 hours of CE credit upon completion.

Workshop Objectives/Syllabus:

  • History of clear aligners
  • Mastering troubleshooting techniques for clear aligner treatment
  • Auxiliaries for clear aligners – how and when to use them
  • Case examples – difficult to complex cases
  • Treatment setups for difficult cases: technician talk
  • Finishing cases & revisions


3:30 pm – 4:00 pm Advanced Treatment Reception
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm Advanced Treatment


Dr. Ken Fischer, Orthodontic Specialist

Dr. Ken Fischer has been in practicing as an orthodontic specialist in Southern California since 1975. He is a Past-president of the California Association of Orthodontists and currently serves as a council chair for the AAO.

Dr. Fischer embraced clear aligner treatment in 2000 and has treated a broad spectrum of malocclusions in over 1200 patients. He served on the Invisalign Clinical Advisory Board for 13 years, but now serves ClearCorrect as its Clinical Advisor.

He is the author of a number of published articles, a mentor, domestic and international lecturer, and consultant for clear aligner orthodontic corrections.

Dr. Duane Grummons, Orthodontic Specialist

Dr. Duane Grummons is a Board Certified orthodontist who has lectured before most American orthodontic organizations and world-wide. He has published scientific articles in all major orthodontic journals; an orthodontic/TMD textbook; and many other chapters.

Dr. Grummons is internationally recognized for his efficient and clinically sensible approaches to facial orthopedic, facial asymmetry, TMD management, and non-extraction orthodontic treatments. He is known nationally for his Clear Aligner Therapy innovations and Total Patient Experience lectures emphasizing the Team Approach with staff.

Dr. Grummons is Associate Professor of Orthodontics at The Loma Linda University Medical Center Orthodontic Department. He has appeared before many dental, surgical and medical conferences, and has made radio/TV appearances. His orthodontic specialty practices were in Marina del Rey CA followed by his specialty facial orthopedics/orthodontics and 3D imaging center in Spokane, WA.

He now is busy as a national orthodontics practice consultant, lecturer in Airway Disorders and DentoFacial Orthopedics, and Orthodontic Specialty Management with Inspiration.

ClearCorrect is designated as an Approved PACE Program Provider by the Academy of General Dentistry. The formal continuing dental education programs of this program provider are accepted by AGD for Fellowship, Mastership and membership maintenance credit. Approval does not imply acceptance by a state or provincial board of dentistry or AGD endorsement. The current term of approval extends from 4/1/2015 to 3/31/2019. Provider ID 304173.

Tech tip: Scanning issues

Using an intraoral scanner can increase accuracy and reduce the number of “re-takes”, but imperfections do still happen.

While some of these issues can be cleaned up on our end, it takes some guesswork on the technician's part, and you run the risk of aligners with a less-than-ideal fit.

Here are three of the most common issues you might run into when taking intraoral scans and how to prevent them:

Holes in the scan

holes CEREC.jpg

holes ITERO.jpg

  • Description: Holes through the upper and lower arch scans.
  • Causes: Holes are caused when the intraoral scanner fails to capture the tooth anatomy.
  • How to avoid: To avoid creating holes when scanning, make sure to stay on the tooth long enough so that the full tooth can be captured. Check the scan to make sure no anatomy is missing before moving to the next quadrant.

Missing gingiva

missing gingival carestream 2.jpg

missing gingival TRIOS.jpg

missing gingival CEREC.jpg

  • Description: Minimal material in the gingival region.
  • Causes: Missing gingiva is caused when the intraoral scanner fails to capture the gingival region.
  • How to avoid: To avoid missing gingival areas when scanning, make sure to rotate the intraoral scanner to the gingival to capture the full gingival region and gum line. Check the scan to make sure 3-4 mm of the gingiva is captured, before moving to the next quadrant.

Excess material

excess material CEREC.jpg

excess material CEREC 2.jpg

  • Description: Excess material attached to the teeth.
  • Causes: Excess material is caused when not enough tooth surface is captured, so the scanner software compensates by adding excess material.
  • How to avoid: To avoid creating excess material when scanning, make sure to stay on the tooth long enough so that the full tooth/teeth can be captured. Check the scan to make sure no anatomy is missing, before moving to the next quadrant.

As a reminder, we accept PVS impressions as well as scans from most intraoral scanners.

We hope this information helps you to take better intraoral scans for the cases you submit to ClearCorrect. Check out our Help Center for more useful information on the topic of clear aligner treatment.

If you missed any of our previous tech tips, we keep them regularly posted to our blog, which you can find here.

Until next time…

Tech tip: Intraoral scanning vs. traditional impressions

There are a lot of options out there for capturing dental impressions. ClearCorrect accepts scans from most intraoral scanners on the market, including CEREC,Ormco Lythos3M True DefintionCarestreamiTero3Shape TRIOSE4D PlanScan and Motion View Ortho Insight 3D scanners.

While we happily accept either scans or traditional PVS/VPS impressions, we also know that 3D technology has had a significant impact on dentistry and many doctors are switching to intraoral scanners.

If you're asking yourself whether you should switch, this comparison might help you make your decision:


Intraoral scanning vs. traditional impressions

intraoral_scanning-1.png impressions 2.png

Advantages of scans

  • More comfortable for patients
  • Fewer “re-takes”
  • Less staff time per impression
  • Higher accuracy
  • Minor errors can usually be patched
  • No need to stock expensive PVS material or impression trays
  • No shipping hassles or delays
  • Records can be submitted electronically for faster turnaround
  • $25 discount on ClearCorrect cases
  • 3D models can be stored indefinitely without taking up physical space
  • Digital model can be reviewed in real-time instead of waiting for setup

Disadvantages of scans

  • Accurate results depend on mastering new techniques
  • Some scanning carts take up space in the office
  • Data can be incomplete
  • Upfront integration costs
  • Per-scan or subscription costs for some models
  • Can't be used to pour up stone models

Advantages of traditional impressions

  • Familiar impression-taking technique
  • Minimal upfront integration costs
  • Common, widely-available materials

Disadvantages of traditional impressions

  • Taking high-quality impressions requires practice
  • Impressions must be shipped for processing
  • Fewer conversion steps mean less degradation of quality
  • Higher costs for materials and staff time
  • Space & cost to stock materials & supplies (i.e. impression trays, light body and heavy body PVS, adhesive, etc.)
  • Patients find the process uncomfortable
  • Defects in the impression require a re-take which can be costly in terms of time and inconvenience
  • Impressions cannot be easily patched to fix certain spots, they must be retaken from scratch
  • Defects in impressions are not always visible to the untrained eye

If this is something you've been considering, we hope this information helps you in making your choice. Check out our Help Center which is filled with tons of useful information on the topic of clear aligner treatment.

If you missed any of our previous tech tips, we keep them regularly posted to our blog, which you can find here.

Until next time...